One more lockdown started today. There were a bunch of restrictions since Christmas but now it’s a “stay at home order” for at least 28 days.
So I worked from home today and I always feel like I get more things done at home because there are less chances of people dropping into my office asking for things or just asking questions.
It’s more relaxed at home and I am more in control of my time. But still there were a couple last minute requests that I had to handle so that quickly depleted my energy. Context switching is exhausting! Add 2 Zoom meetings on top of that and I’m done!
I stopped working almost an hour later than I’m used to when I go to the office. Gotta fix that!
I created my Facebook account in 2009. After Facebook introduced the bottomless scrolling newsfeed with companies advertising inside the platform, I started to get annoyed by it.
But at the same time I developed an addiction to it. I remember that feeling of logging in to Facebook and scrolling for a couple hours only to realize it was a waste of time. But everybody I knew was (is) there: high school friends, friends I made at a training course in Sweden, family, co-workers, bloggers, etc.
This was before the Cambridge Analytica scandal but I remember seeing those “personality polls” they used to get information. I don't think I ever clicked on those, but they were everywhere.
Trying to remove distractions but still using it
I decided to get rid of Facebook's feed by “unfollowing” everyone I knew. This was before there were plugins or extensions that could hide your entire timeline. Then I used plugins extensively to avoid the feed and all the ads. I was only interested in participating in some Groups that organized local meet-ups, for example. So I used tricks to only see the Groups when I logged in and avoided all the other distracting things on the page.
Long story short, all those strategies weren't getting to the core of the problem. I started to join more groups and I was still checking Facebook every day, several times a day.
It was such a lovely day for a long walk today! Temperature at around -7C, moderate wind, blue skies.
A walk of almost 10Km along the Ottawa River, starting at the Mud Lake up until the Andrew Haydon Park and back.
Andrew Haydon Park
We saw people skating in the lake, playing hockey, skiing and doing this thing where you have a snowboard or skis and let a kite move you through the ice. It's exactly like kite surfing in water but in snow. I don't know if there is a specif name for this winter sport. It's the first time I saw people doing it. The only version I knew was the one in the summer (in the water). Sounds fun!
Ottawa River – People “Kite Surfing” in snow
We spotted squirrels and birds. It was a sunny day, there wasn't too much snow which made walking super easy, no need for snowshoes.
I spent some time today backing up my former Wordpress blog. I had posts there from 2013. I took a disproportionate amount of time to find out where the export option was. I almost gave up. But it's done. I've been debating with myself if I should delete the account. I've done that before with Medium, after I tested it for while. But for some reason revisiting my first posts on Wordpress today made me nostalgic. I could not hit DELETE.
Is that what you do when you move to a new blogging platform? Just delete the old one?
I've been having a similar dilemma about social media. I deactivated my Facebook account, but haven't deleted it. Same thing with Twitter, not actually using it, but it's still out there. The only reason my Facebook was NOT deleted is... family and friends that are far away still use it. It's sometimes their only online presence. So, what if one day I want to contact them? That's the only place these people exist in my references. I keep it for “someday/maybe”... food for thought..
I don’t have big goals or big changes for 2021. I want to consolidate the discoveries I made in 2020. I learned a lot about myself last year. It was a good time to reflect about my habits and now I want to ENGAGE 🎬.
I want to build my Knowledge Database. I’ve been studying Zettelkasten for that.
Engage more, do more. Spend less time setting up apps and changing methods. Stick with the established routines. Get into the flow.
Make small adjustments only when and IF necessary.
Continue to go out on long walks (something I started doing regularly in 2020).
Spend less time on my phone.
Be less distracted, (re)train my focus.
Consume less information. Quality > Quantity.
Every year I like to list books I plan on reading. It's a starting point, a list that I look at every month to pick what to read next. It's not meant to be a “must read” list, just suggestions for my future me.
This year I'm not being too ambitious. I want to slow down and savour the moment. No big goals really, just sailing in cruise control.
I mainly want to keep on reading the books I already own, so I will try to pick from the following list:
I'm moving all my notes out of Evernote. And I have a notebook there with all my e-books notes and highlights for the past 7+ years. A total of 276 notes. One note per book.
I've always used this free service my.clippings.io to export my Kindle highlights to Evernote. It also exports to .txt, .pdf and .doc. But, the only way to have separate files (one note per book) is when I use the Evernote option.
My issue here is: how can I convert all these Evernote notes to markdown??😕
I have never asked that question before. But suddenly I felt like I was overwhelmed and that I was spending too much time and energy to manage my lists. So this year I decided to sit down and write a description of my GTD system to understand what was going on.
The inspiration came from a post from Cal Newport in which he describes his “Rooted Productivity“ document. For him, it's a one page document that he keeps in a plastic sleeve on his desk.
The idea is to have a “root commitment” that includes all your productivity habits.
GTD is based on 5 steps, which are:
1) CAPTURE: Collect (Inbox)
2) CLARIFY: What is it?
3) ORGANIZE: Put it where it belongs
4) REFLECT: Review and Update
5) ENGAGE: What is the next action? Do it!
Based on Cal Newport's idea, I came up with a description of my system based on the following questions:
Which tools do I use for each of the 5 GTD Phases?
What are my Inboxes? Where are they?
What are my list managers? (including tasks and project lists)
How do I organize the stuff that comes into my inbox?
What is on my Calendar?
What is my reference system? How do I file non-actionable things?
Core habits and routines: what are the habits that are important to me?
Periodic Reviews: what are the reviews I have scheduled to keep the system up-to-date?